Monthly Archives: February 2010

For the Birds-For Me

Preening in Montana

On February 23, 1994, Congress proclaimed this month as National Bird Feeding Month.    This is a difficult month for the winged ones and providing even a small ration of food, water, and shelter will help wild birds survive; and ourselves.   Watching birds can provide an almost  Zen like break to our fast paced lives.  Nature has the intrinsic power to relieve stress and angst because we are one with it; if you just give it the chance.

After an hour of steady telephone calls, I am known to slip away quietly and hide for 15 minutes.   Quiet and peaceful with no connection to the busy world; I sit at the back of the store and watch the graceful frolic and soiree outside.  There is no time better than another; whenever I arrive there seems a performance starting just for me.   I have an odd assortment of bowls, urns, dishes, and feeders around the yard overflowing with seed, corn, and bread.    If you quiet yourself and watch; you get lost.   They flit, they hop, they flutter and they prance.  Such a simple act of Nature with such a profound effect.   Before you know it your heart rate slows, you are leaning against the window, and you are one with Nature.    You are quiet and simple.   Nature is simple, the original meditation I think.

For many of us, this escape progresses to a hobby.   It is an inexpensive hobby and one that is actually a good habit for us-and them.   Unlike humans, they don’t require designer feeders or porcelain baths-they are happy with an old cookie sheet or garden urn.  And they graciously thank us by coming back every day for another show; no matter the weather.

We are lost, because we sequester ourselves to an indoor lifestyle of multitasking, artificial light, and circulated air.  We have lost our connection to the Earth and Nature; something we all desperately need to get back.   A Native Ojibwa friend told me that the people of New York City have glass, empty eyes because they walk and live on concrete all day; every day.  Their feet never touch the Earth and so,  have lost their connection and… are lost themselves.  He lives on the First Nation reservation on Manitou Island in Canada; I thought his words were amazingly insightful for one so removed from a mega city, and told him so.   A simple observation and antidote so clear to him and I, and yet so lost to them.

           Feed the birds, watch the squirrels; it is a gift from Nature.

Get reconnected….it will save us.

          Learn our winged friends and their songs below

 National Bird Feeding Society Guide.

                                                                                                                                                              Enjoy   Lynn

Saving Wolves on Valentine’s Day-My White Knight

As I helped Lynn create our Valentine window promotion I began to wonder …because I know we always have a meaning to every display on Holidays.  I suspected what was coming because we recently went to see a rescued, white wolf; and was he ever handsome-and was I ever smitten, to say the least.

The display was a life size wolf and pups that just seemed to be looking calmly-out at the passersby.  I wondered about my wild relatives-were they all handsome?  I wondered if they are happy, I wondered if they are safe like me, and I wondered if I would ever see my white knight again or, any others.
I tipped my head and Lynn explained that my white knight was indeed handsome and…her inspiration.  I learned they are very happy in the wild, but not very safe-and soon…..may not always be there.   I was shocked; why would they be leaving and where would they go?  Was there something I needed to learn? I kept thinking about education being freedom-like my racing industry.
Many humans don’t really understand the wolf families or how important they are to the balance of Nature; but yet instead fear they will attack people and farm animals.  Sadly; the western states and Alaska are shooting them from helicopters.  I thought to myself; “Oh if only they had some racing lessons from me, I could help.”  And worse; even the special pack in Yellowstone Park is being watched and possibly ground hunted too.  It took animal people a very long time to bring them back to the park and now they are in danger all over again too.    I get very distressed with humans at times.  In my world, we all know and respect each other.  We know the planet is just not for us canines-but for all of us to share.   I now understood the display, but what could Lynn & I, or anyone do?
So much to my delight, we came up with a ‘howling’ wolf benefit for Valentine’s Day-in honor of my white knight.     On February 12-14 we asked our Valentine shoppers to help towards the campaign to save the wolves.   And they did!  We had a basket full of donations to send off to the campaign.  I send all who helped a paws up and a warm lean!  (we greys lean on those they like)  Please sign the petition and send a message that we want the wolves to stay.  It only takes a minute-no strings.   I think it was just the perfect day to have a heart for my relatives, I would not want someones sweetheart hunted; and…my white knight…sigh…I loved his eyes……  xxoo  Willow

What a Rose Means-The Secret Flower Vocabularies

If you have a special message or want one, then use your stem roses or petals to say it.  This is especially if you just don’t know what to say or…you just want to say it secretly.   Choose your favorite rose colors or the traditional rose meaning and have fun.
Dark Red~I love you with passion
White~Secretly united in love forever.
Pink~You are lovely.  A gentle beauty.
Peach~Your qualities and charms are unequaled
Yellow~The highest  friendship or….forgiveness
Green~Your are fresh and lively  or….strength
Orange~I admire your beauty or….handsome
   Lavender~You are a dignified rarity

Mixing  with miniature, garden spray roses of any color; adds ”beauty and youth” to the bouquet meaning.  A perfect p.s.


   Valentine Postcard c. 1905

Greeting Celebrities-The Valentine’s Day Roses

We have boxes and boxes of celebrity roses arriving for Valentine’s Day from all over the US .  I see them in a way most probably do not because I greet them upon arrival.  They are not really different from me and my canine friends if you really look….
Before they arrived  I am sure they were primping themselves, growing to their most perfect because our celebrities are not cut until they are shipped; ensuring they are the freshest for their upcoming performance.  They had their tickets early but I wonder if everyone in the greenhouse knew where they are going.  I bet they were all excited and gossiping about their travel itineraries and each other’s shows.
I always wonder what they think when I greet them as the box lids are opened.  I look my best and greet them with “Hi, I’m Willow- welcome to New York”!  I like to greet them from their long trips, assuring them water is on the way and the most perfect vase is ready for them.  Kind of like a hotel concierge, I like to think it is a very important responsibility.    I love to watch them stretch and flex their leaves from the first big drink of NY water they take.   They open their bloom faces giving a smile; a hint preview of their show performance.

The  dark red, Black Baccara are the snobbiest I think.  They are the most regal & beautiful and they know it.  They kind of stay to themselves because… they can.   The pure white Polar Stars are hands down, the most delicate and frightful.  They are fragile, shy, and nervous with just the slightest of accident causing a bruise.  I try to keep an extra protective, eye on them as they get stressed with the trip I think, and don’t fit in too well with the others because of it.   Flowers are like animals, some like travel and some don’t, or some like one friend -while others prefer many.
The pink Cotton Candies are my sort of favorite.  They are just like their name; sweet and girlie, forever primping and fussing.  They complain and whine until they have ribbons around them, but they are always a lot of fun.

The yellow Tara’s are the friendliest and loudest-forever being teased by the pinks, because just looking at them they seem to scream their color.  The pinks think they are a bit bold & unsophisticated because of their brightness-but like shelter animals-never judge a book by its cover!  They are survivors these yellows-strong, and always perfect houseguests.
And then..the Green Teas.   They are always so peaceful and easy going.  Nothing seems to upset them; they just blend in and get along with everyone.  A peaceful world for these environmentalists, who are so grateful we use no make-up or chemicals at the shop.   All of these roses shine on their own natural beauty.  They really are the only girls in the world who do not need make-up.
There are a few others like the soft spoken and mannerly, Parisienne peach girls-and the ever so hip, Cool lavender girls.   The orange group are warm and cuddly types, and the 2 tone stripes…. Well everyone picks on the stripes for being so different.  I feel sorry for them because you should never make fun of someone just because they are not like you-or a bit different.

All in all, the different personalities seem to get along.  When mixing the colors in a vase they at first rub each the wrong way fighting for their own space on the stage-but when all is finished and they are perfectly coiffed-they all shine together and get along fine.   I actually like them all-because each has their own character.  And just like us-get along perfectly once they give each a chance to know each other.
xxoo Willow